FAQs : Shipboard Questions
Effective January 23, 2007, passports will be required for air travel to or from Canada, Mexico , Central and South America, the Caribbean, The Bahamas and Bermuda . The State Dept web says: As early as January 1, 2008, ALL persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda by land or sea (including ferries), may be required to present a valid passport or other documents as determined by the Department of Homeland Security. Until then we recommend that all guests travel with a valid passport during their cruise. This will enable guests to fly from the U.S. to meet their ship at the first port should they miss their scheduled embarkation; and allow guests that must debark the ship before their cruise ends to fly back to the U.S without significant delays and complications.
For cruises completed before December 31, 2007 departing from a US port to the Caribbean, Alaska or Mexico, a passport is reccomended, but a certified copy of your birth certificate with a raised seal, along with an official government issued photo I.D. are acceptable.Voter Registration cards are not acceptable.
Pack like you would for any resort. Cruise vacations are casual by day, whether you're on the ship or ashore. In the evening, ships vary as to dress. As on shore, attire is dictated by occasion. For the Captain's Gala, for example, you'll probably want to wear something more formal, such as a dark suit, or cocktail dress; perhaps even a dinner jacket or gown.
On some cruises, formal dinners or parties are part of the fun. But don't buy a tuxedo just for the trip. If you do want to dress to the nines, many ships offer tuxedo rental services. Even on the most formal of ships, a dark suit and tie are fine for the dressiest occasions.
Most ships have 110-volt outlets in the staterooms so you should be able to use your hair dryer and shaver. However, most new ships include air dryers in the room. Ask your agent if your ship has them or not.
Yes, there are. As a matter of fact most new ships have safes right in the cabin with instructions on how to use them. If you would like a safety deposit box, the purser's desk will get one for you.
As a rule of thumb, wheel chairs are available for passengers who are injured after they get on board. Most suggest that you bring your own collapsible one if you will need it throughout the cruise. Holland America Line has in the past provided a wheel chair throughout the cruise if it is requested in writing 30 days prior to departure. Check with your agent when booking regarding your ship's policy on providing wheelchairs to passengers.
Quite easily. Most ships have a daily newsletter with news, headlines, selected stock quotes and sports scores. Staterooms on many ships are even equipped with televisions. While many ships now have telephones in passenger cabins, you can also call someone on shore through the ship's radio operator while at sea. And, you can make phone calls from most ports. In addition, many ships have fax capabilities.
Virtually every cruise ship (except for some smaller vessels operating in coastal waters) has a fully-equipped medical facility and staff to handle almost any emergency
Yes. Almost all cruise ships have laundry facilities and a great many provide dry-cleaning services. There is, however, an additional charge for professional laundry and dry-cleaning services. Holland America, Princess, and Crystal also have self-service launderettes on board simply because many of their itineraries are 11 nights or longer. Most people don't have enough underwear for a 96 day world cruise. Can you imagine your laundry bill on a trip that long?
Today's cruise ships have made the transition to a "cashless society." All passengers are given an onboard charge card that typically doubles as their boarding pass. You would use this card for all purchases including drinks, souvenirs, shore excursions, boutique services, spa services, and etc. Cash is accepted in the casino, for gratuities to the staff that served you, and at the purser's desk to settle you onboard account.
Most of the mass market lines like Royal Caribbean,Holland America, and Princess let you pre-book your shore excursions to their more exotic itineraries like Europe and the Orient. We know that we will be able to pre-book your Caribbean Tours directly with the line prior to travel within the next year or two.
If you are travelling with a group of six or more, we can pre-book your Caribbean and Alaska Tours prior to travel. We work closely with suppliers that can assist us in arranging group tours at rates that are often lower than the cruise lines without waiting in line.
Most Budget and Contemporary Cruise lines encourage families with children and almost always offer sitting services; however, availability can vary on the destination and time of year. Cruise lines with limited facilities for children may not provide a children's program or sitting services unless a certain number of children are on board. Then there are those cruise lines who do not cater to children at all and may not offer any babysitting services. Ask your cruise counselor to check with the cruise line about the policy in place for the specific cruise you are considering.
Most contemporary cruise lines offer baby sitting in a group-style format in the children's room. These are conducted by the Childrens' Program Counselors. Toddlers and older children often have playtime before retiring to individual, sheet-covered mats while watching videos with the other kids. Infants are rocked and placed in individual cribs. Some cruise lines offer this for free while others may charge a small fee. Babysitting services are offered during certain evening hours when the children.s program is not in operation, but generally not on the first or the last night of the cruise. Babysitting during daytime hours is usually offered only while at sea, but a few may have more flexible hours.
Due to liability reasons, few cruise lines still offer "In-Room" babysitting services. Those that do require that you make reservations with the purser's desk at least 24 - 48 hours in advance. This "In-Room" service is usually done by female cabin stewards on their own free time. The fees are set with the cruise line and typically handled with a cash transaction directly with the In-Room Baby Sitter.
Here are some of the Cruise Line Baby Sitting Policies from 2000.
Royal Caribbean: 8 am - 2 am
Norwegian: 12 Noon - 2 am
Carnival: No In-Room service but Group Sitting in playroom. 10pm-3am
Holland America-Staff Volunteers
Princess Group sitting available on Crown, Regal, Sun, Dawn, Sea, Ocean and Grand
You must be at least 21 years old to legally consume beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages on a Cruise Ship.